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BOSTON (CBS) – New Boston Bruin defenseman Greg Zanon is ready to make his debut Thursday night when the New Jersey Devils visit the Garden.
He just has to make sure he has a ride. Lucky for him, his new teammates are more like a new family.
“I don’t have a car or anything,” he said after Wednesday’s afternoon practice, his first with the team since coming over from the Minnesota Wild at Monday’s trade deadline. “Everyone is willing to chip in to make sure I’m in places I need to be. It’s a family atmosphere here so it’s really easy to just come in; just like a family dinner type thing. Everybody just welcomes you in, and it’s been a real easy transition so far.”
Zanon On Joining B’s
The six-year veteran doesn’t think it will be too hard to fit in on the ice either. Zanon saw plenty of the Bruins and their defensive style during the summer’s Stanley Cup run, and his game should fit in nicely.
“It’s my style of hockey. They play that tough style; they like to get up and down the ice, good D zone, good defensive team,” he said. “It’s just the way I play my game so hopefully I can fit in nicely when I get in the lineup and do anything I can to help out. Just grit it out with the boys.”
And by gritting it out, he means blocking shots. Getting down and taking a shot so it doesn’t become something Tim Thomas or Tuukka Rask has to handle. Zanon blocked the second most shots in the NHL last season, and says his stay-back style allows the play to come to him. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to help his new team.
“I’m not too offensive so, anything I can do to help this team win,” said Zanon. “My focus is on positioning and doing anything I can to help Timmy and the team. The less shots they see there’s a good chance they’re going to stop all of them. If they’re taking 40 opportunities, we can block 10 or 15 of those, it’s going to help Timmy and Rask a lot.”
Zanon has taken plenty of shots from various different players, but luckily he hasn’t been on the other end of one from his new captain.
“I don’t think I’ve blocked one of Z’s yet,” he said of Zdeno Chara’s famous slapper. “I’ve had a broken ankle, broken foot a couple of times, broken hand. It’s just like everybody else; you do what it takes to win the game.”
While he likely won’t crack the top four spots on the Bruins defense, Zanon will be a valuable asset when it comes to the team’s depth. Johnny Boychuk is day-to-day after suffering a concussion Saturday night, and with Joe Corvo’s up-and-mostly-down play, Zanon could get plenty of minutes very quickly with the Bruins.
Read: Bruins-Devils Preview
And even after one practice, he knows the currently erratic B’s could use a boost of any kind right now.
“Our focus was trying to turn this thing around. Obviously I haven’t been here but it’s been a little bit of .500 hockey right now and Claude wants to get this thing going. We just have to put our best foot forward and give it everything we got for these last 21 games.”
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